We all experience loss in some way in our lives. It can be a major loss of a loved one or an emotional support pet. It can even be that sense of emptiness when a familiar life-style or stage in life is over. Every emotion related to that sense of loss is valid no matter how small. While moving past endings is never easy, there are things that we can do to comfort and soothe as we heal.
Time moves differently for Freiren; her human party members reach old age before she even fully matures in elf years. Because of this, she has no choice but to to say goodbye to each one in turn as they pass on. Her grief is evident especially at Himmel’s burial as she feels regret for not making an effort to get to know him better.
Throughout life we inevitably face loss of different kinds. Some are massive, whereas others subtle. Grief is a natural response to loss regardless of its magnitude. This experience of emotional suffering hits different people in different ways. Some individuals shut down, while others push themselves harder.
Freiren decides to embark on a quest to know humans better as her penance towards Himmel.
Kubler Ross describes the five stages of grief to be:
- Denial: Pretending that everything is fine
- Anger: Looking for someone to blame or lashing out
- Bargaining: Some may turn to individuals of authority or religion to make the loss go away
- Depression: Shutting down and not doing anything
- Acceptance: Being at peace with what happened
Not everyone who grieves progresses through all of the stages, nor necessarily in that order. Ross intended the grief process to be for those facing the end of their own life. The reactions identified by Ross however is felt by most who have lost someone.
More importantly, going through all the stages is not essential to healing. There is no prescription to what you “should” be feeling as your grief is a personal journey and will be different from others’.
It’s also important for us to remember that we don’t have to grieve for only certain things. Your grief does not have to make sense to other people. The crucial thing is that we adopt healthy coping mechanisms so that we can heal well.
Here are some coping strategies you can adopt:
Acknowledge your pain.
Don’t push it away or worse shame yourself for it. Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel the way you feel.
Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
If some of these come up, pause and give yourself some time to regain your footing. Once again, don’t shame yourself for this, be kind and gentle to yourself especially in this time.
Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
It’s hard when others don’t understand or seem to grieve in a typical fashion. There is no comparison to be made here. You grieve the way you need to.
Seek out support from people who care about you.
Don’t shut out your loved ones. Rather, lean on them for support. If face-to-face is difficult to arrange, text or arrange a call.
Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
Try to eat, hydrate and sleep as best as you can. It can be easy to neglect your basic needs when grieving and fall ill. If you need reminders and check-ins, ask for help from your support system.
Recognize the difference between grief and depression.
It’s important for your mental health that you know what kind of help you need at the point of time. If you continue to feel the symptoms of grief over an extended period of time, it may be time to seek professional help.
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